The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced on Monday their latest batch of nominees for 2007; Patti Smith, R.E.M., Van Halen, Chic, the Dave Clark Five, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the Ronettes, the Stooges and Joe Tex. It's no surprise that Rush is not on this list. Since becoming eligible in 1999 they've been snubbed every year. I know there are a lot of Rush fans who feel very strongly about this subject and also a lot who don't give a rat's ass. Personally I fall somewhere in the middle. When they're inducted (and I do think they will be eventually) I'll be happy for them - but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter that much to me.
Related to all this, reader Mark W sent me a link to his local classic rock radio station 106.9 The Fox in Virginia Beach and asked a favor. They're running a poll to see who should be added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Guess what? Rush isn't given as an option... and they don't even allow you to write-in a candidate. So if you have a minute and are so inclined, email the 106.9 morning DJs John and Leila at JohnandLeila@1069thefox.com and let them know what you think about them excluding Rush.
A new contest is up at the Rush Backstage Club. The winner of the Rush Replay X3 memory stick was James Bielaga from Washington. This next contest is for a set of Rush bobblehead dolls. They don't say when the winner will be announced but I assume it'll be around November 15th. Thanks to reader Ros-ma for the heads up.
On this date 25 years ago Rush released their 2nd and most successful live album, Exit ... Stage Left. It was originally released on vinyl as a live double album in 1981 on Mercury Records. Sides 1, 3, and 4 were recorded in Canada during the Moving Pictures tour, while side 2 (tracks 4-7) was recorded in the UK during the Permanent Waves tour. It was certified Gold by the RIAA on January 5, 1982; certified Platinum on November 9, 1987 and reached as high as #10 on the Billboard charts.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
New Video: Neil Peart performing Cotton Tail from the making of Burning for Buddy
A few weeks ago I pointed you to a video I found on YouTube of Neil Peart performing from the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert back on October 14, 1989 April 8, 1991. The video contained the tail-end of Cotton Tail, his entire Pieces of Eights drum solo and then closed with One O'Clock Jump. I also just found an in-studio video of Neil Peart performing Cotton Tail in its entirety from the Making of Burning for Buddy Documentary. You can watch it here.
I found this fun article on CanadaEast.com this morning where they spoke with various Canadian musicians about their Halloween memories and what scares them. They talked with Neil Peart who had this to say:
... Rush drummer Neil Peart ... says he's haunted to this day by a sad childhood Halloween memory.
"I probably was about six or seven, dressing as Zorro, with a mask on and it was pouring rain," Peart says recently from his home in Los Angeles.
"And the rain was under my mask and I stabbed myself in the eye with my plastic sword. I was walking down the street crying my eyes out." ...
Careful with that sword kid - you'll poke your eye out. :)
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Guitar Center's Neil Peart R30 Drum Kit page updated
The current feature article on webzine ReadJunk's homepage is entitled Rush Pick-Up Lines. It contains ... you guessed it - a list of Rush-themed pick-up lines. Some are funny, most are not. You have been warned. :) Thanks to reader Rusty for sending me the link.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Beck and his 2112 guitar in ChartAttack's Photo of the Week
Back in June I reported how Beck had been using his 2112 guitar in his live shows. If you've never seen this guitar, it has a prominently displayed Rush starman logo on it. Last week Beck was in Toronto playing a few small venues and I'm happy to say he is still using this guitar. ChartAttack.com is featuring a picture of him from one of these shows at the Ricoh Colliseum as their photo of the week. It's a great pic and the starman logo can clearly be seen. Thanks to Counterparts member handles for spotting this.
... Each drum is made from hand-selected maple wood with an inner ply of curly maple, while the finish is an extreme custom lacquer process that involves hologram appliques of icons (inspired by Keith Moon's "Pictures of Lily" kit) representing many of RUSH's most famous recordings and tours.
Each Black Mirra Flake panel is lined with red pin striping and the entire kit including hardware and pedals are custom plated in rich 24-carat gold. The R30 kit also includes a full complement of Neil's SABIAN Paragon cymbals, which he worked closely with SABIAN to develop.
The kit comes complete with 30 pairs of Pro-Mark Neil Peart Commemorative Drum Sticks, an exclusive DVD titled The Making of the R30 Drumkit, as well as a Certificate of Authenticity personally signed by Neil Peart. ...
The kits will be made available from Guitar Center at 8AM on October 30th and will cost $30,000. A complete parts list, example of the certificate of authenticity and a 360 degree view of the kit can also be seen at the Guitar Center website here. If anyone feels like buying me one of these just let me know and I'll send you my shipping address. :)
1 year ago today I put up my first official post on Rush is a Band. I'd created the site mainly based on my own frustration that there wasn't already a site in existence that offered an unfiltered, up-to-date Rush news feed. Every day I found myself combing literally dozens of fans sites, message boards, newsfeeds, etc. just to get my Rush news fix. I figured that since I was doing this anyways, I should offer it up for the general Rush-fan public as well. So I did. I really had no idea where it would take me but I kept at it. Eventually word got around and I was getting around 300 pageviews a day by the end of 2005. Today it's 10 times that number and growing. I really can't believe it myself. So I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the readers of Rush is a Band for visiting the site on a regular basis, spreading the word and for all your words of encouragement, appreciation and criticism (both good and bad). I also wanted to give you an idea of what's in store for the future of the site and allow you to make suggestions as to what enhancements/features you'd like to see and any ideas you have.
First off, I don't plan on making any radical changes to the site - especially the design (if you could call it that). This site is and will remain primarily a Rush and Rush-related news site where the content is king. My design is simple and unflashy because of this. I might change a font or a color scheme here and there or create a "real" header image, but that's about it. In my experience I've found that design is so subjective that it's impossible to please everyone. And sites that place more importance on style than substance are the ones I usually avoid. I just want my site to be readable and easy-to-use. If you have any suggestions as to the design while keeping these things in mind, I'd love to hear them.
I have a few weeks off around Christmas and plan on dedicating some of that time to updates on this site. A lot of the changes I have planned are "under-the-hood" type changes that won't really affect what the end user sees. But they will make things easier for me as far as posting and updating the site - which is a good thing.
One thing I really want to do is enhance/update the post comments. I don't know how far I'll get with this, but I should at least be able to start allowing users to quote other comments easily, add hyperlinks and simple html decoration - stuff like that. So far I haven't had too many problems with open/anonymous comments. I get a few offenders here and there but that's ok - and to be expected. I really want to avoid having to use some kind of registration system. Basically my policy is - express your opinion as much as you want but once it starts to degrade to personal attacks and overuse of vulgarity I'll put a stop to it. I'll either shut down commenting on the post or just delete the offending post. I don't think it's asking too much from people to follow these simple rules.
I'd also like to reorganize how all the videos are categorized on the site. It's done in a sort of half-ass way currently and stuff is hard to find. Along these lines I might add subject tags or something similar to better organize the posts and make it easier to sort out specific topics.
So those are the things that I more-than-likely will address in the near future. There are also a few "wish list" items that I may or may not get to. On the top of that list is some sort of "Rush calendar" which would list upcoming events in the world of Rush; things like tour dates, release dates, notable anniversaries, etc. I'd also like to put together some kind of audio section where you can listen to rare and unreleased Rush-related audio. I'm not sure how this might work exactly, but it'd be nice to have.
What about you guys? Anything you'd like to see? I can't guarantee anything, but I'll listen to any reasonable suggestions. I want to avoid duplicating things that are already offered on other sites too - unless there's some way you think I could add to or enhance them.
So fire away. Either leave suggestions in the comments or shoot me an email.
And thanks again guys! You've made keeping this site together a real pleasure.
More reaction from Neil Peart on 2112's MasterWorks honor
Last week it was announced that The Audio-Visual Preservation Trust would be honoring Rush's 2112 as part of their MasterWorks program. Neil Peart reacted to the news with mixed feelings shortly after. He also recently spoke via phone with Cassandra Szklarski of the Canadian Press about the honor and discussed 2112's history and what it meant to the band. He admits that parts of the album "make him cringe":
... "To me, it's raw and immature and all that it should be - it's 30 years ago," ... "A lot of our early stuff does (make me cringe) but on the other hand, I know that it's genuine."
The themes of the album were heady stuff - touching on notions of individualism, self-expression and freedom.
But it was a sense of flat-out defiance that pushed the trio into more experimental territory, says Peart.
After three failed albums in the mid '70s, the record company leaned heavily on the band for a commercial release. The situation had become "very precarious," Peart says.
"That summer, we were unable to pay our road crew's salaries or our own salaries and we had just finished a tour that we disparagingly called at the time, 'The Down The Tubes Tour,' because we were playing grotty little clubs and (were) the opening act on a five-act show and it was grim," recalls Peart, noting that these days, the band would have been dropped by the label.
"Financially and spiritually, I had to look at the fact that the next year I might be back in the farm equipment business."
But when Mercury Records demanded a hit single, the band got its back up. It churned out the complete opposite of what their bosses pushed for - a concept album, with an opening track that was no less than 20 minutes, 33 seconds long and took up the entire side of a vinyl LP.
"That album is full of just bitter anger and rebellion," says Peart. "Nobody's going to tell us what to do. And that spirit, I think, is what communicated itself to an audience and of course we toured non-stop and did everything we could to spread our music around, but inevitably, there was an intangible quality that reached people."
"It was an important, pivotal turning point for us because it was the first one to become kind of successful against all predictions and against all musical popularity at the time." ...
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Eddie Trunk and Teri Garr Terrie Carr discuss Rush and the Rock Hall on VH1 Classic
UPDATE - 10/23@10:15AM: Reader Scott points out in the comments that I had the wrong Teri. He says that It's actually Terrie Carr, not Teri Garr who is hosting the show with Eddie Trunk. She apparently is/was the program manager for northern New Jersey's WDHA. She says some nice things about Rush. Thanks for the clarification.
I haven't seen this myself but a few people have reported seeing a recurring segment called Turn Tables on VH1 Classic lately. In the segment Eddie Trunk and Teri Garr (actress and comedian) Terrie Carr (program manager for northern New Jersey's WDHA) are discussing rock music, particularly which band deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is not in. Teri's number 1 group was ... Rush! (she also mentioned Heart) Very cool. Eddie agreed and also put Kiss, Van Halen, Alice Cooper and Deep Purple on his list. Eddie basically went on to trash the Rock Hall for not including bands like this. Thanks to reader Scott for the info.
Sabian representative Chris Stankee got to visit Rush in the studio recently and details plus pics from his visit were posted on the Sabian forum:
In the past few weeks Neil has been in the studio with RUSH working on a new album. They have brought in a co-producer that has worked with Foo Fighters to add to the elixir. SABIAN's Chris Stankee joined them for a couple of days. He says, "First of all- how many people get to hang in the studio with RUSH?! That was as cool as it gets! They were working hard getting the drum & cymbal sounds recorded right and the song they were working on is amazing. Neil has an interesting routine happening too. He would play the kit along to demos working out the drum orchestration. Then retire to his office to work on the lyrics and finally making his way to the couch to collect his thoughts and then start all over again. Of course he and Lorne found a little time to pick on me in between. That's OK though as I bet they still haven't found the manicotti I left inside the bass drum for added flavor to the tone. I can just picture it...Neil thinking "man, Lorne stinks today" and Lorne thinking "man, I stink today!" Ha ha! Who loves ya fellaz?"
These pics were posted just a couple days ago but they seem to have been taken on October 6th in Toronto. So it sounds to me like they may no longer be in pre-production but are actually recording and their producer Nick Raskulinecz has joined them. Neil also looks to be using his West Coast Kit - which isn't really on the West Coast I guess. It's all a little confusing because in yesterday's Toronto Star article about the 2112 MasterWorks honor they mentioned talking to Neil from Los Angeles where he was recording the new Rush album. No matter if Rush is in Toronto or Los Angeles - as long as they're working on the new album they could be in Botswana for all I care. :)
... "It seems a worthy thing," says Peart on the line from Los Angeles, where Rush is working on a new album to be released next year. "We've been slowly trying to rescue our old master tapes and transfer them to digital because they do degrade horribly over time. So I understand the necessity of what they're doing."
Whether Peart would have chosen that album - or any other by Rush - for preservation is another matter.
"I accept the transitory nature of music in general and especially popular music," he says. "As a listener I move on and very rarely go back and listen to anything I listened to 30 years ago. I'm always about moving forward. When an artist I like puts out a new record, I don't listen to the old one any more.
"I see it the same way with Rush. When we tour, we play those songs. They're still great to play and I'm still proud of many of them. But I would definitely fear the realization that the best record we made was 10 or 20 years ago. That would be hard to live with." ...
Friday, October 20, 2006
Alex Lifeson to appear on upcoming The Drama Club release
The Drama Club is a Pennsylvania-based metal band formed in 2004 by former Lifer frontman Nick Coyle and former Stalemate members Nate Bevan and R.J. MacLean. They recently solidified their lineup in 2005 and are currently in the studio working on their first full-length album (they already have an EP out) which will feature a guest appearance from Alex Lifeson. Lerxst has worked with Nick Coyle in the past; Lifer's self-titled debut album was produced by Alex Lifeson. You can check out some Drama Club tunes on their MySpace page.
This is just the latest in a string of Alex Lifeson guest appearances. We seem to hear about a new one every few weeks. He currently has 3 albums out in Canada which he either played on, produced or both; all of which were released a few weeks ago. He plays on one track on Canadian industrial rock band Jakalope's second album, Born 4. He also allowed former I Mother Earth frontman Edwin the use of his home studio for preproduction on his 3rd solo album, Better Days, in addition to playing on several tracks. Lerxst was also heavily involved with the soundtrack for the recently released Trailer Park Boys movie.
Neil Peart discusses faith as central theme of Rush's new album
Cassandra Szklarski of the Canadian Press recently spoke with Neil Peart about Rush's new album. Neil reiterated the fact that reflections on faith will be the central theme of the album but gave no new information. From the interview:
... "I tried hard to look at it as a subject -- what's good about it -- and tried to balance that against what I saw as not being a good thing," Peart said, noting his experience as a Canadian living in the United States for the past six years has given him a unique perspective on world events."
"All we're seeing, especially in the world today, is a very malevolent kind of faith, in fundamentalism of all kinds, on both sides. One of the lines I use in the new songs equates Middle East and Middle West, because this stuff is going on in both localities, although both would probably be insulted by the comparison. ..."
Like I said, no new information - at least not to us. We had already heard about that line from one of the songs from the guy who recently interviewed Neil for a Christian Science Monitor article. He had posted more details from the interview on a Marillion message board and mentioned that Neil had said that There's a line on one of the new songs that says "it doesn't matter whether it's the Middle East or the Midwest,". It's nice to hear Neil confirm this.
The Audio-Visual Preservation Trust is a non-profit Canadian charitable organization dedicated to promoting the preservation of Canada's audio-visual heritage. For the past 6 years the organization has sponsored MasterWorks, which annually recognizes 12 culturally significant Canadian classics from the film, radio, TV and music industries. This year they chose to honor my favorite album of all time - Rush's 2112. From the article:
The prog-rock experiments of the band Rush are among works that should be preserved for future generations, says a committee tasked with saving the best in Canadian television, radio, film and music.
The band's 1976 album "2112," a unique blend of classic rock and synthesizers that made Rush a sensation both in Canada and the United States, is one of 12 cultural pieces named Thursday as MasterWorks by the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust. ...
This is really cool. Thanks to reader Jeff T for bringing this to our attention.
I read Neil Peart's first book, The Masked Rider, admittedly because I was a Rush fan - no other reason. I'm not much of a traveler and had never read travel books. But I found his descriptions particularly evocative, and his writing top-notch. I was surprised at how much I liked it and he barely even mentioned Rush or the drums.
Ghost Rider was powerful, saddening, inspirational and more. Neil's descriptions of the immeasurable pain and the feeling of loss caused by the tragic hand fate had dealt him simply tore me up inside. I was on the verge of tears more than once and the way he emerged from the abyss at the end of the book was truly awe-inspiring. I felt nothing but pity and admiration for Neil after this read.
Traveling Music was a fun book. Neil's nostalgic meanderings dragged me along for the ride. I found myself dredging up old memories right along with Neil - which was a blast. This book was more of a pre-Rush autobiography of Neil Peart rather than a travel book - which is why it's probably this homebody/Rush-fan's favorite of his catalog thus far.
Then came Neil Peart's 4th book, Roadshow which I started reading a few weeks ago and even posted my semi-review when I was just a few chapters in because I had been so impressed.
I finally finished reading the entire book last week and am ready for my "final review". Overall I liked it. It's not the best of his books in my opinion but neither is it the worst. It definitely has its own unique feel and tone. My initial impressions after reading the first few chapters were to describe Roadshow as almost whimsical. Neil had me laughing out loud at points. The upbeatness and excitement of preparing for a new tour and the vivid descriptions of those first few "magical" shows was wonderfully conveyed. Neil was throwing out all sorts of neat bits of Rush trivia as well. But as the book progressed that upbeat tone in the writing started to lose momentum. The jokes got a litte old and stale as did Neil's mood. Themes kept being repeated and life on the road started to take its toll on Neil and I started to feel the same sense of tedium that Neil was describing. In that respect, Neil's book was brilliantly written; he was completely successful in evoking the same emotions in me that he himself was feeling. By the end of the book I felt a little ... tired, almost glad it was over. And I certainly felt I had a much better understanding of Neil Peart the person - maybe too good of an understanding. Neil doesn't pull any punches in this book. He describes his feelings at face value and you get to know Neil very well - warts and all.
I've been reading a lot about Roadshow on the various message boards and the reviews so far are probably the most varied and volatile of all his books. Most people seem to at least agree that the book was well-written and very personal. Neil's straightforward honesty in describing life on the road for a veteran rock musician garnered a lot of respect and praise from many fans, while others seem to have been taken a litte aback by it. I think a lot of us, me included, count Neil Peart among our list of heroes, and we tend to place our heroes up on pedestals. It's tough to learn that our hero is a real person with real feelings, faults and quirks - really just like the rest of us. To steal a line from Neil himself, Illusions are painfully shattered right where discovery starts. The way I deal with this is to try and separate out Neil the musician from the Neil the person in my mind. I can appreciate both of these persons on different levels and in different contexts.
Most Rush fans have at least heard of the band Primus, whether they like them or not (Primus Sucks! :) ). They're an alternative-metal/thrash-funk (psychedelic polka?) band who've been around since the 80s and toured with Rush on both the Roll the Bones and Counterparts tours. The central figure in the band is singer/bassist Les Claypool, who cites Geddy Lee as both a friend and his biggest influence.
Today Primus releases both their first greatest hits CD They Can't All Be Zingers: The Best of Primus and their third DVD Blame It on The Fish. The DVD contains a 30-minute mockumentary about the band set in the year 2065 in which a 102-year old Les Claypool reminisces about the band. Rush and/or Geddy Lee is mentioned three separate times.
1. Tim Alexander says that when he first played with Les Claypool and Larry Lalonde, they just got together and played a bunch of Rush tunes.
2. Les talks about the influential people he's worked with over the years and mentions Geddy.
3. In talking about how much he loved his job as a professional musician, Les remembers something that Geddy once said to him: "The one thing the public never wants to hear a rock star do is complain."
According to Power Windows a special issue of Bass Player Magazine called Bass Giants is now on newsstands. The tagline reads 25 players who changed everything and the cover montage includes Geddy Lee. The introduction also states that, Geddy's serious chops continue to inspire legions of bass players. Indeed.
Iron Mike Benson of Southern Ontario radio station 97.7 HTZ FM recently interviewed Alex Lifeon on his morning show. Unfortunately I missed it but reader Scott T listened in and gives us the following report:
... They talked about the trailer park boys, the upcoming CD, and Alex's influences. Nothing really stood out except for when they starting talking about if Alex is making sure he can play the songs on the upcoming CD, live. Alex talked a lot about it, and in a way implied that they'd be doing the songs live. He also talked about how technology has made it easier to record songs. ...
This is good news. I'm pretty confident that Rush will tour (at least North America) in support of their new album, but it's still nice to hear stuff like this; it makes it that much more likely.
There's a new Rush Backstage Club contest up. The winners of the autographed promo posters from R30 were Stan Echols from Florida and Tonya Chaney from Ohio. This next contest is for a 128 mb Rush Replay X3 memory stick loaded with custom made screen saver for PC and MAC computers. The winner will be announced on October 30th, 2006. Good luck! Thanks to Mark for the heads up.
Apparently Neil Peart's old stomping grounds of Port Dalhousie, Ontario (home to Lakeside Park) is debating whether to allow the construction of a 17-storey condo tower and theatre along the waterfront. From Niagara this week:
... It is a debate that people from throughout Niagara, not just the picturesque community long ago absorbed into the larger St. Catharines metropolis, should be keenly interested in. Like the Old Town in Niagara-on-the-Lake and the grandeur of the falls in Niagara Falls, Port Dalhousie is a historic landmark all Niagara residents should feel is important to them.
The community played a key role in the opening up of Niagara to modern times, when it nestled against the original Welland Canal and serviced passing schooners.
Since then, generations of people quietly grew up in the place forever chronicled by rock group Rush's drummer Neil Peart, who grew up in the area.
Like Crystal Beach in Fort Erie, Lakeside Park's heyday is gone, the barkers on the midway now only a memory. ...
The Official Rush and Rush Replay x3 Contest and Interactive Pages, Rush.net, has posted a few more old radio shows on their Bonus Features page. They now have a total of 21 shows up on the site. This latest batch features a live concert recording from way back in 1974 at the Cleveland Agora (being a Clevelander, a venue I'm very familiar with). Just look for the huge banner saying "Rush Radio Specials". Click on this banner and you can listen to the following:
NEW! WMMS LIVE AT THE AGORA (Rebroadcast November 2000) - Live At The Agora (12/16/74)
Rush - "Hemispheres" Radio Special 1978
Sean McKay and Rush - The 1982 "Exit ... Stage Left" Radio Special
Rush - "Signals" Radio Special 1982
Jim Ladd and Geddy Lee - "Signals" 1982 Innerview
Jim Ladd and Neil Peart - "Grace Under Pressure" 1984 Innerview
Mary Turner and Geddy Lee - Off The Record (1988) - "A Show of Hands"
In the Studio with Neil Peart (Grace Under Pressure & Signals) - hosted by Redbeard
Host Dan Neer with Rush - "Presto" Up Close (1990)
NEW! Host Mary Turner and Rush - Roll the Bones Off the Record (1992)
Mary Turner - Off the Record with Alex Lifeson (1993)
NEW! Hosted by Dan Neer - Test For Echo Up Close (1996)
Host Jo Robinson with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson- World Premiere Broadcast of "Different Stages" (1998)
Host Jeff Woods with Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee - "Vapor Trails" World Premiere
Rob Coburn with guests Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson - Vapor Trails Rockline (May 15, 2002)
NEW! Hosted By Jim Ladd - 2002 Tour Special
Much More Music - The Story of Rush (2002)
Uncle Joe Benson - "Feedback" (Off the Record) 2004
NEW! Hosted by Redbeard with guests Geddy and Alex - Waves and Windows In the Studio (2005)
R30 Rockline appearance - December, 2005
In the Studio - Moving Pictures 25th Anniversary With Redbeard (2006)
In the November 2006 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine there's a section called Why we Ride where various people give their reasons as to why they ride motorcycles. Neil Peart gave the following response:
We ride for joy - for freedom, weather, wildlife, curiosity, speed, escape, satisfaction, challenge and grinning out loud as we rail through a perfect curve. And when the bike is parked at the end of the day, there is another kind of joy: the elevated sense of accomplishment and survival, and the taste of that fine Scottish beverage...
- Neil Peart, author, drummer and lyricist for the legendary rock band Rush
In the September 30th edition of Canadian daily newspaper, The National Post, there was a picture of Alex Lifeson's son Justin with his wife Michelle in the "society pages". Reader Pat W scanned the pic for us. You can view the full-size image by clicking on the thumbnail. They look like a really nice couple.
The Battle of the Album Covers featuring Fly by Night
A number of people have sent me this homemade video amalgamation of famous album covers which features Rush's Fly by Night so I thought I'd finally post about it. It's put together in a Monty-Python-esque fashion and is really well-done... and funny too. So if you haven't seen it already (it's been all over the net), you can watch it here.
Here's a video of Neil Peart at the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert on April 8, 1991. I believe he's performing Cotton Tail (& Pick Up The Pieces) and this was included as part of the Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concert Volume 1 VHS tape. Anybody who has this or knows better, please correct me if I'm wrong. You can watch the performance here.
Sunday, October 8, 2006
Dream Theater working with Paul Northfield and Mike Portnoy spends a day with Neil Peart
Blabbermouth is reporting that Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy was on the "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM this past Friday and mentioned that the band has entered the studio in New York City with Paul Northfield, who has worked with Rush on several albums. He had this to say on working with Paul:
"We are currently making our new album with Paul Northfield engineering. DREAM THEATER's had the same engineer for the last 10 years - this guy Doug Oberkircher - and for the sake of getting some fresh ears with us in the making of the new album, we're working with Paul, and Paul did [RUSH's] 'Permanent Waves', 'Moving Pictures', and 'Signals', as well as some of the newer stuff, so we're getting RUSH stories every day from Paul about the making of those albums, and how they recorded the guitar solo for 'Limelight'; he would tell us about the change of tide with 'Signals', and stuff. So we're hearing RUSH stories every day. It's really cool. Paul is an awesome guy."
He also finally got to meet Neil Peart for an interview recently and had this to say:
"We did an interview together - an interview and a photo session - for a drum magazine in England called Rhythm. I haven't even announced this yet, but this is a really cool thing that I'm gonna be doing for Rhythm where they're letting me be the guest editor of an issue, and I get to interview and get together with several of my big influences. So I got together with Neil, I got together with Nick Mason from PINK FLOYD, [and] I'm gonna be doing Lars [Ulrich; METALLICA] and Bill Bruford [YES] next month when I get home from South America. Anyway, it's gonna be a really super-cool issue, and Neil was totally accomodating. As soon as I contacted him about doing this, he was totally on board - super-cool. We met and had a great time."
"It's funny. He's the one guy that's eluded me all of these years. I've met everybody - from Ringo [Starr], all across the board - but Neil was so elusive. All these years, I was thinking he was dodging me. I was starting to to take it personally. But he welcomed me with open arms. He was really, really cool. He's an incredibly cool guy."
Saturday, October 7, 2006
Trailer Park Boys movie TV special hosted by Alex Lifeson now online
UPDATE - 10/10@4:08PM:Mark sent me this link of a short little interview with Alex (and other TPB characters) from the premier. You'll need to view the video in Internet Explorer and Alex appears a couple minutes in.
UPDATE/CORRECTION - 10/9@9:30AM:Melissa pointed out in the comments that Alex does show up towards the end of the show (part 3). He briefly interviews the boys on set of the video shoot for I Fought the Law and asks them if he could have a part in the movie. They then show the short clip of Alex's cameo as a police officer which you can watch here.
Last week I posted about how Alex Lifeson would be hosting a show called Trailer Park Boys 101 on Canada's Showcase network to help promote the Trailer Park Boys movie which opened across Canada yesterday. The show aired last night and can now be viewed online at the Showcase website here along with the Trailer Park Boys: The Movie - Behind The Scenes show. Alex doesn't appear onscreen - he just narrates it. Thanks to reader subdivision40 for the heads up.
Related to this, the interviewer for this article posted about the experience of interviewing Neil on a Marillion forum and had this to say:
One of the highlights of my career as a journalist was spending a half hour on the phone with Neil Peart two weeks ago. (My wife can't understand why I'm so elated about interviewing Peart - she only gets excited when I interview, say, George Clooney.) I'm the editor of the Weekend Section of The Christian Science Monitor (for those of you outside the US, it's a 98-year-old, daily, nationwide newspaper) and we run a weekly feature in which we ask well-known people what they're reading, watching, and listening to. Neil rarely does interviews these days, but he nevertheless agreed to do a phoner. You can read Neil's answers in today's paper, here: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1006/p12s02-algn.html We chatted about lots of things during the course of the interview, including Marillion. He said that he has friends who like Marillion but he had lost track and interest in the band when Fish left. In Peart's new book, "Roadshow," he talks about Donald Campbell and the Bluebird, so I told him how "Out of this World" inspired someone to go searching for the wreck of the craft. And then I mentioned that I rated H as a singer in the same league as Jeff Buckley. I offered to send him a few albums and he gladly took me up on the offer, so I'm sending him AOS and Marbles (and a few other CDs and books). We also chatted a lot about literature and books, travel, Porcupine Tree, and the new Rush album. He says they have 8 or so songs that they like and that they've now started on two or three more. One of the themes of the new album, he says, will be examining religious fundamentalism. There's a line on one of the new songs that says "it doesn't matter whether it's the Middle East or the Midwest," it's a hugely powerful force. I told him that I loved "Vapor Trails" and he said that meant a lot because he's always hearing fans talk about the albums they made 25 years ago, whereas he prefers the more recent stuff! (If I'd had my druthers, I'd have asked him if they ever plan to remaster "Vapor Trails.") cheers, Stephen H
Looks like Neil had a lot to say besides what he's been reading. It's great to hear that the album songwriting process is proceeding well, and Neil reiterates once again that this album will deal with religious s themes - specifically religious fundamentalism. Many thanks to Ian for giving me the heads up on this.
MitA's on a roll once again. He's served up five more audio oddities for us - 4 taken from songs off of Vapor Trails and one live recording. There's the extracted hidden audio parts from Ceiling Unlimited (link), Scars live from Hartford, CT (with many unusual samples and triggers) (link), an extracted guitar solo from Earthshine (link), a hidden Alex riff from The Stars Look Down (link), and Alex doubling Geddy's vocal part on One Little Victory (link). You can listen to them using the player above or access them directly at the links provided. Thanks MitA!
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Trailer Park Boys "Supergroup" concert pics and video
Last night was the world premier showing of the Trailer Park Boys movie in Toronto. After the movie there was a mysterious "Supergroup" concert which I mentioned yesterday. There weren't many details available about the show, but RushIsABand reader Pat W. was lucky enough to attend the world premier and the concert following. He took plenty of pics (see above) and a short-but-sweet video which you can watch here. He also reported the following details:
Movie is beter than expected, Alex plays a cop who pulls the boys over. Also playing a cop is Gord Downie, singer for the Tragically Hip. There are some Rush t-shirts seen in the movie.
Concert was really good: no Geddy but lots of Alex on stage playing with Bubbles and then with the Big Dirty Band. Also there were some old Canadian bands like Helix and someone said Kim Mitchell (but I didn't see him). The finale song was I Fought The Law, and both Thornly's singer and Care Failure were there, along with Jeff Burrows on drums, plus the actual Trailer Park Boys. Care F has a tremedous voice! Jeremy Taggert played some drums too (he is from Our Lady Peace and played on Geddy's solo album.) Thornly opened the show at about 11 pm and it ended at 1 am.
Many, many thanks to Pat W. for his report, the video and all these great pics.
UPDATE - 10/4@9:08AM: You can watch several clips from the Behind the Scenes show at this link.
The world premier of the Trailer Park Boys movie is tonight in Toronto at 7:30. After the movie there will be a "Supergroup" concert. I can't seem to find any info on exactly who will be involved in the concert, but I'm betting on Geddy and Alex being there. Rushisaband reader Pat managed to finagle himself some tickets. He's got friends in high places (Alliance Atlantis). He's gonna give us a report and hopefully some pics. He's one lucky bastard is all I can say.
Another Canadian reader, Dino, watched a TV special about the film that aired Sunday night. I'm not sure if this is the same "Behind the Scenes" show referred to in this post or not. That show was supposed to air tonight but maybe there was an early showing on Sunday. Anyways, here's what Dino had to report:
Just finished watching a special on the upcoming TPB movie. The basic premise of course is a big 'ultimate' heist for the boys, aka 'The Big Dirty'. The subject of the heist is a giant sphere loaded with change, that people are supposed to guess the total in $ within. Being so large, it becomes the 'ultimate' in their eyes. The official name of the sphere? The "QUIZNOID 2112".
I've gotten a few emails about this one; apparently Rush's Working Man was played on Monday Night Football last night when they went to a commercial break. Cool.
This other one is pretty funny. The Colbert Report is a satirical news show on Comedy Central starring Stephen Colbert. On last night's episode, there was a funny Rush reference. In his The Word segment, he was talking about how the scientific community is forming groups to get science-friendly candidates elected. He mentions that he believes in an old guy with a beard (ZZ Top flashes across the screen) while scientists believe in an 11-dimensional multiverse made up of tiny vibrating strings. And this flashes on the screen: Basically, A Rush concert. Funny. You can watch the segment here. Thanks to Rush Forum member KenJennings for spotting this one.
I hereby declare it (unofficially of course) Alex Lifeson day. Lerxst has 3, yes - THREE, albums being released today in Canada which he either plays on, produces or both. Alex plays on one track on Canadian industrial rock band Jakalope's second album, Born 4, which releases today. He also allowed former I Mother Earth frontman Edwin the use of his home studio for preproduction on his 3rd solo album, Better Days, in addition to playing on several tracks. And last, but not least, the soundtrack for the upcoming Trailer Park Boys movie releases today which Lerxst was heavily involved in. He compiled a Canadian "supergroup" called The Big Dirty Band and produced as well as played on their version of the 60s hit I Fought the Law for the soundtrack; and appears in the video. Alex also plays on the track Liquor and Whores as a member of Bubbles and the Shit Rockers. The only downside to all this is that these albums have only been released in Canada, and us state-siders can only get them via import.
MitA's been a little silent of late but he managed to throw together these 2 interesting sonic nuggets for our listening pleasure. The first is the isolated NASA countdown sequence from Countdown. The second is Geddy's isolated crazy bass solo from The Big Dirty Band's I Fought the Law. You can listen to them using the player above or directly access the links provided. Thanks once again MitA!
There's a new Rush Backstage Club contest up. The winner of the Complete Tourbooks was Art Ybarra from California. This next contest is for one of two autographed 22"x16" promo posters from R30. The winners will be announced on October 15th, 2006. Good luck!
Sunday, October 1, 2006
Hangin' With Neil Peart VH1 Classic interview reminder now online
UPDATE - 10/2@6:10AM It's up on YouTube now. You can watch it in 3 parts here.
UPDATE - 10/1@10:11AM There seems to be some mixup with the schedule - the VH1 site now says it's on at 9:30 as does my DVR's cable guide... but it's listed as an "encore" showing? Weird. Either way, it's on this evening ... sometime. :) I think I'll just tape the whole block from 8-11 just to be safe.
2 weeks agoEddie Trunk announced the air dates for his VH1 Classic interview with Neil Peart on his blog. The interview will premier tonight at 8:30PM EST and repeat 10/2 at 2:30PM and Midnight; 10/3 at 5:00PM; and 10/5 at 5:30PM. I'm sure it'll be up on YouTube shortly after for all of those who don't get VH1 Classic - I'll let you know when it's up.